Emirates Literature Foundation to Offer ‘School Librarian of the Year’ Award

If there’s a profession in the book ecosystem that’s overburdened and under-rewarded, it’s librarians:

eflThus it’s good to see the Emirates Lit Foundation (ELF) offering an award to recognize “the pivotal role librarians play in creating the next generation of readers, and reward those who excel at sharing their passion for books.”

Children, parents, and teachers from all UAE schools can nominate a librarian online; the closing date for nominations is December 15, 2016.

The winning librarians — one from an Arabic-language school library and one from an international school library — will have rather untraditional prizes. Instead of a simple check, each will receive “a trip to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, flights and accommodation for four people, plus a visit to the British library, among other great prizes.”

The winner is set to be announced on March 5, during the 2017 Emirates LitFest.

Yvette Judge, ELF’s Chief Operating Officer, said over email that this is part of a larger effort, where the foundation is “seeking to better understand the training needs of school librarians and encourage their professional development[.]

Judge saw an ideal library as “a vibrant, welcoming and joyful place to visit, with an abundance of physical and digital books available, providing the opportunity for an interactive experience. The librarian’s job will always be to have an up-to-date knowledge of the materials available, to provide support for the students and to bring to life the joy of the written word, alongside developing information-finding skills to support being a lifelong learner.”

She added:

My final comment would have to be that nothing can be better than the glow of satisfaction that comes from matching the right book to the right reader; whether that reader is a young adult or a three-year-old enjoying story time on a beanbag. If Emirates Literature Foundation can help more children find the pleasure from reading that I have enjoyed throughout my life, I will be extremely happy!

You can nominate a librarian online; it’s unfortunate that the accompanying image shows only an Anglophone-appearing librarian.